Blackmore Vale Magazine Article – My First Six Months in Practice


My First Six Months in Practice

By Jade Mowlem MRCVS

I joined Friars Moor Livestock Health as a new graduate last July. Starting in the summer, a quieter time of the year for us farm vets, meant that I could get into the swing of day-to-day life as a fully-fledged vet without being rushed off my feet.

I studied at the University of Surrey, but Friars Moor is in fact a move towards home for me, having grown up on a dairy farm in West Dorset. Though Guildford isn’t a big city, I was glad to get back to rural Dorset and see cows day to day!

The first day I started work was actually the day I received my results, thankfully by lunch time I knew I had passed! I am doing an internship through the Royal Veterinary College this year but hope to stay once this comes to an end in June.

After 5 years at university, I was so keen to get out on farm. In my first few days, my colleagues were great at sending me on less daunting calls such as a lame sheep or some routine calf castrates. And then came the scary calls – a calving, a prolapse, a twisted uterus… I like a challenge! A cow c-section at midnight is one of my highlights!

Some of farm vetting is true James Herriot style – fresh air, driving through the countryside and skipping lambs in spring…but there is nothing quite like being up to your knees in mud or TB testing in the pouring rain! I wouldn’t change it.

Day to day life as a vet, especially on farms in the southwest, has moved away from what we like to call ‘firefighting’, farmers are so knowledgeable and can treat common conditions without our help. Following this, consultancy work has become a large part of our job. Advising on disease prevention, nutrition and farmer training to name a few.

I have really enjoyed getting to know the farmers in the area, albeit there are many still to visit, I find this an invaluable part of being a farm vet, with routine work allowing us to get to know our clients well and contribute to their business.

With spring springing, I am sure I will meet some more of you for the first time in the coming weeks! A regular saying I appreciate when I leave farm is ‘see you again, but not too soon!’.